What Is Cold Laser Therapy?
Cold laser therapy is low-intensity laser therapy, or laser therapy that uses low levels of light to stimulate healing. Unlike surgical or aesthetic lasers, it does not cause your tissue to heat up.
Cold laser therapy is sometimes called low-level laser therapy (LLLT), low-power laser therapy (LPLT), or soft laser. You may also hear it referred to as therapeutic laser, biostimulation, or photobiomodulation.
Much of the safety and effectiveness of cold laser therapy lies in its ability to trigger the body to heal itself. Penetrating into targeted tissue, laser light stimulates mitochondria in target cells to produce additional ATP, which fuels cell repair and regeneration. The laser simply jump-starts the healing process and since the laser operates within a specific wavelength range that is non-thermal (the “therapeutic window”), there is no risk of tissue damage or other complications.
The therapists at Team Theraputix have this cutting edge technology at their disposal to use as prescribed for their patients.
How Does Cold Laser Therapy Work?
Low-level light is applied directly to the problem area. The tissue then absorbs the light. In a basic sense, this leads to a biological or chemical reaction to red and near infrared light. Damaged cells have a physiological reaction that helps promote their regeneration.
Differing wavelengths and outputs are used, depending on the purpose of the treatment. Generally speaking, wavelengths between 600 and 700 nanometers (nm) are used to treat superficial tissue. Wavelengths between 780 and 950 nm are used for deeper penetration.
During the procedure, you’ll feel the device against your skin, but it creates no heat, sound, or vibration. Even better, it is completely noninvasive and painless. Most of the time, one treatment will take only a few minutes.
What Is Cold Laser Therapy Used For?
Doctors, dentists, physical therapists, and other medical professionals use cold laser therapy in a variety of ways. The main uses for cold laser therapy are tissue repair and relief from pain and inflammation. Some of the less known, however, still very effective uses for cold laser therapy are:
- Weight Loss
- Smoking Cessation
- Acne Treatment
- Hair Loss Treatment
- Anti-Wrinkle Treatment
- Anti-Cellulite Treatment
- Hyper-Pigmentation Treatment
- Addiction Therapy
- Wound Care
More commonly, cold laser therapy is used to treat the following conditions:
Minor Injuries and Sprains: Sports medicine and physical therapy practices use cold laser therapy in the treatment of minor injuries and sprains. It is used to help reduce swelling and promote healing of the joints and soft tissue.
Inflammation: Dentists use cold lasers to treat inflamed tissues in the mouth and to heal ulcerations. Doctors also use it to treat inflammation caused by arthritis and other chronic autoimmune diseases.
Aches and Pains: Pain clinics use it to help people who suffer from chronic pain. Therapeutic massage therapy sometimes involves cold laser therapy.
Skin Rejuvenation: Cold laser therapy is used to promote skin rejuvenation. Dermatologists use it to treat various skin problems such as ulcers, burns, inflammation of the skin (edema), and rashes (dermatitis).
Wound Healing: Cold laser therapy is being used to treat hard-to-heal wounds, including wounds related to diabetes.
Acupuncture: Acupuncturists use cold laser therapy for clients who are uncomfortable with needles. The low-level laser beams can stimulate your acupoints the same way needles do, but without piercing your skin.
The potential for new applications of cold laser therapy is virtually limitless. There is hope that it will someday be used to treat traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and degenerative nervous system diseases. Researchers are studying its use in Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among other illnesses.
Is Cold Laser Therapy Right for You?
The use of cold laser therapy is growing in traditional medical practice and as complementary or alternative therapy. Under the care of a doctor or qualified practitioner, cold laser therapy is considered safe. Also on the plus side, it’s noninvasive, painless, and there’s no need for medication or other preparation. There are generally no side effects or reported adverse events.